Category Archives: Beading

Project: Beaded Coif

Beaded Coif – From Atlantia University class (October 2019)

A friend and I took the Beaded Coif class by Lady Adair of Makyswell (MKA Catherine Yvonne King) during Atlantia University. I had to attend for exchequer classes in the morning. Free in the afternoon, I dropped by the beading class. It was preplanned, as the class required the coif to already be made. My friend picked out the fabric and helped me do the initial cutting out.

The fabric is a cotton print and I am following the design. Other materials being used included glass beads (bronze and “pearls”), polyester thread, and beading needles the teacher provided. I added DMC cotton embroidery thread, green and white beads, and other needles, scissors, and materials as needed.

I’m not attempting a competition piece, just a beautiful something when done.

Coif Started – First picture on October, 8, 2019

Coif completely sewn. First beads attached. Here you can see the extensive pattern I plan to cover someday.

Coif Continues – November 21, 2019

I decided doing everything in beads first was crazy, so to save time I would do some of the leaves in brown and some in blue.  I completed the brown leaves in November.

By the way, I did a quick count on the embroidery vs. bead time. It was NOT faster. (sigh)

Coif Continues – December 31, 2019

Last pictures before tax season slowdown. The blue leaves are complete.

Pictures are Left Side, Back, Right Side.


Coif Continues – May 10, 2020

All small pearls added to the blue leaves. I killed the first of the three beading needles which the teacher gave us for the project today. I’m running low on the copper beads she provided as well, which is not the standard size I use. Also beginning to run low on the green beads and will need to switch to a different group of green beads I do have that are close.

Knowing I would likely run out part-way of the various beads is one of the reasons I decided to work the areas in a somewhat random pattern – so that the differences will be mixed throughout the final project.

I’m getting a lot done during the video meetings during the stay-at-home orders. Next post will be when I have all the large pearls on the project.

Pictures are Left Side, Back, Right Side.

Coif Continues – July 13, 2020

I’ve lost the second of the three beading needles. It’s somewhere in the house I hope. The copper beads gave way to a red embroidery floss, and I’ve started a third group of green beads.

Now just to fill in the last bits of missing. Nearly done!

Pictures are Left Side, Back, Right Side.


Coif is DONE – July 30, 2020

I finished sewing in the inner lining today during an A&S zoom meeting.

Materials used

  1. Printed cotton fabric (which the design covers – treating it like an artist gave me a base to work form.
  2. Lining of coif also a cotton fabric. Sewn together with Coat all-purpose 100% polyester thread. Coif attached to coif when complete. Hand needle and everything hand assembled. No machine used to make the coif.
  3. Bead thread provided by teacher, likely 100% polyester. Beading needle provided by teacher. Pearl-like glass beads (2 sizes) and copper glass beads provided by teacher.
  4. Green glass beads were mine – three different sources, from my huge bead box, as well as the white glass beads of similar size, only one source for that.
  5. DMC cotton embroidery thread – blue (792), brown (3826), and red-copper replacement (814 and 815).

Lady Elspeth Mereberie (the friend who attended the class with me) gave me a Styrofoam head to display the project and encouraged me to cover it with pantyhose to look even better.

Now onto the final results!

First on the right, you can see how the lining looks. Covers the mess of beading stitches and will help protect the coif when it is worn.

Next the normal grouping of left, back, right. You should be able to click these for bigger pictures.


And one final closeup. Where you can see at least two tones of green beads, the copper beads and the red substitute, the different two different size pearl beads and the white beads in the blue leaves, etc. This is the middle back.


Book Review: 100 Great Archaeological Discoveries

Book Review: 100 Great Archaeological Discoveries

(Originally written about 2004, I pretty sure this has been published somewhere, I just can’t find proof)

100 Great Archaeological Discoveries.  Edited by Paul G. Bahn.  Barnes & Nobel Books: New York, 1995.

This book is a fascinating passport into the past.  The clothing, tools and crafts far surpass in skill and detail that a modern person would expect of  “primitive” times.  Concrete bathhouses in the 2nd century AD, intricately tattooed people from 400 BC, a thirty foot stone tower built with an internal staircase created 9,000 years ago and ground ovens over 30,000 years old are just a few of the items left behind by our ancestors.  Mankind ever moves forward, our wealth not based on gold and silver, but the work and discoveries of those that have gone before.  This book gives the combination to the vault of history and lets us take a moment to admire its contents.  Beautifully illustrated, the book is able to be read in short bursts with two or three pages devoted to each discovery.  Skim for the headliners, such as Tutankhamen’s tomb, then go back and read the rest of the articles. You will be amazed at how far we have come.

Applications:  History of Garb, Architecture, Beads & Glasswork, etc… Personas – Viking, Roman, Spanish, Russian.
Cost: $16 through Barnes & Nobel (in 2004).

Class: Jeweled Book Weights

LARGESS: Jeweled Book Weights

(Taught July 16, 2015 for the Aire Faucon Largess A&S Night – This is a hands-on activity night taking about two hours.)

People in period were very protective of their books; many illuminations show people reading on top of pillows or handling books with towels to protect the outside. Likewise modern people are interested in protecting books, for example holding a book open when cooking without breaking the spine.

A common cheap bookweight is taking 28 pennies (2 rows of 14) and sealing them inside some duct tape. For Largess we are going to take some ends of trim and some scraps of cloth, decorate them with beads and make Jeweled Book Weights.

Some hints to help with decorations:


  1. Find a needle and thread that can go through the bead more than once.
  2. Make certain the bead does not have a cutting edge on the hole that will destroy the thread in time.
  3. Go through the bead three time. Going through only once or twice makes it loose. This is whether you double the thread or not – the amount of stitches secures the bead more than the thickness of the thread. Basically you want to “backstitch” the bead on to lock it in place.


  1. Do not sew on individually
  2. Do not sew by stringing the beads and sewing the string down
  3. To get a smooth continuous curve, pick up a bead at the start, then go down, come back up at the start of the bead, go through the bead and pick up two to five more (depends on the size of the bead, you will get a feel for this as you work with them), go down in the line, come back up between some of your added beads – go through them and pick up more. Basically you are backstitching the beads down. The double stitching allows curves and creates a straighter line then laying down a string of beads.
  4. To create even spaces between the beads, once done go back over line and anchor down the string between each bead without going through the bead again.
  5. You have now sewed down the beads vertically and horizontally; these will stay.